Staff Blogger: Alexandria Digby, Marketing & Graphic Design Manager

IMG_1133A key charm of Lakeside is its natural beauty. Keeping the flowers fed and the grass green is a full-time job for Lakeside’s new Master Gardener, Loretta Wilkin.

Every day, Wilkin makes her rounds to keep up with the various gardens, flower beds and potted plants scattered across Lakeside.

“My primary work is watering, weeding, pruning and cleaning up the gardens between the Fifth Street entrance, the South Gate entrance, the Williams Tennis Campus and Chautauqua Park’s Memorial Garden,” she said.

Before taking on this position at Lakeside, Wilkin held several gardening or horticultural jobs. She spent many years at Corso’s Flower & Garden Center in Sandusky, Ohio working in transplanting and production, garden center sales, flower shop management, giftware buying, retail sales and customer service in the greenhouse.

“Gardening is a nurturing, challenging and rewarding experience,” she said. “I enjoy the beauty of such an amazing diversity of plants.”

Gardening is what introduced Wilkin to Lakeside four years ago. While working on some private gardens within the grounds, she couldn’t help but keep returning.

“This summer, I’m looking forward to continuing the excellent reputations of the beautiful gardens and helping to make Lakeside a destination for spectacular gardens,” she said. “I enjoy my new job immensely. I work with a great crew.”

Wilkin grew up in rural Huron, Ohio and has lived and raised her four children in Sandusky for the past 40 years.

After work, Lakesiders may find her enjoying the Lake Erie view with a slice of pie and a glass of iced tea, or weeding along the lakefront path.